Wilderness, A Journal of Adventure in Alaska [WITH A Signed Handwritten Letter (ALS) from Kent to a Prominent Collector]
New York: Putnam, 1920.
First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good. The personal copy of the distinguished book collector Montgomery Evans II, with his bookplate, autograph letter from Kent to Evans, publisher's prospectus for the book, and Evans' review of it from the Yale Literary Magazine. The letter, handwritten on plain 8 ½ x 11 paper, folded in quarters for mailing, reads in full "Dear Mr. Evans: Thank you for your letter. I think very few people write to authors, and hardly any recognize anything personal in an artist's work. "Wilderness" has, as a matter of fact, been very well received. I'll send you a circular of the publishers that shows the spirit in which the book has been read. Nevertheless, it is not selling enormously well for the reason apparently that the public to which such a book appeals is, even in this country of - how many millions, 120?---extremely small. So for it to have so enthusiastic a rooter as you is to me a good fortune. Again, thank you very much for writing to me. An author's proud and happy moments depend upon his friends making themselves known. Faithfully yours, Rockwell Kent." The letter and the prospectus mentioned therein are housed in the original stamped mailing envelope (postmarked in December 1920), which is affixed to a rear blank. On the facing page (verso of the rear free endpaper) is Evans' review of Wilderness, clipped from the Yale Literary Magazine. Evans' bookplate is on the front pastedown, and the front panel of the original dust jacket is tipped in at the front flyleaf. The book is in very good condition, with some toning and minor abrasion to the spine and dust soiling to the top edge, and lacking the jacket. Evans (1901-1954) was a Yale undergraduate at the time of this correspondence. He became a noted book collector, forming friendships with many of the literary figures of the 1920s, including Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, Sylvia Pankhurst, Arthur Machen, Lord Dunsany, Walter de la Mare, and Aleister Crowley. He continued to collect the works of Rockwell Kent through at least the 1940s.